Teeth Whitening Product with Exceeded Level of Hydrogen Peroxide Sold Online
The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has come across a teeth whitening product, “Beautiful – Cold Light Teeth Whitening Kit” being sold online. The whitening gel in the kit contains 4% of hydrogen peroxide and should only be supplied through registered dentists and used under supervision of registered dentists as it is potentially corrosive.
“Beautiful – Cold Light Teeth Whitening Kit”
The teeth whitening gel contained in the “Beautiful – Cold Light Teeth Whitening Kit” is a cosmetic product. Cosmetic products in Singapore must comply with the requirements under the Health Products (Cosmetic Products – ASEAN Cosmetic Directive) Regulations. The Regulations are in line with the ASEAN Cosmetic Directive (ACD), which adopts similar regulatory principles and requirements as the European Union (EU) regulations on cosmetic products.
Under the Regulations, cosmetic products do not have to undergo any evaluation or obtain approval by HSA prior to sale. Dealers are only required to notify HSA about cosmetic products they are supplying before they are placed on the market so as to facilitate regulatory follow-up if safety concerns arise. Dealers also have the legal responsibility to ensure the safety of the cosmetic products, compliance with the legal requirements for product labelling, and the prohibition and restriction of the use of certain ingredients.
HSA has in place a post-market surveillance system to monitor the safety of cosmetic products. This includes adverse reaction monitoring and a surveillance programme which samples and tests products for potentially harmful ingredients on a risk-based approach. Products found to be unsafe will be removed from the market.
Presence of Restricted Ingredient
Based on the product notification submitted by the company for “Beautiful – Cold Light Teeth Whitening Kit”, it was noted that the teeth whitening gel contains 4% hydrogen peroxide.
Under the ACD, hydrogen peroxide is allowed for use in cosmetic products with certain restrictions. Teeth whitening products containing up to 0.1% can be supplied directly to consumers. However, teeth whitening products containing more than 0.1% and up to 6% of hydrogen peroxide is only allowed to be used by or supplied through registered dentists and should not be sold directly to consumers. Such products should also be labelled with the relevant warning statements as required by the ACD, e.g. “Not for direct sale to the public. For supply only through qualified dental practitioner.”
HSA has advised the company to restrict the supply of the product to registered dentists. HSA is aware that the product is available on various e-commerce platforms and is working with them to remove the sale listings of this product. HSA will continue to monitor and take actions against companies or persons selling this product directly to the public. To date, HSA has not received any adverse reports relating to the teeth whitening gel contained in the “Beautiful – Cold Light Teeth Whitening Kit”.
Advice for Consumers
Teeth whitening products containing high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide can be potentially corrosive and should be used under the supervision of a dentist. Consumers who experience adverse effects when using such products should discontinue the use immediately and consult a dentist. Consumers can find out more about the use of teeth whitening products by referring to the Singapore Dental Association’s website: http://sda.org.sg/public-interest/tooth-whitening-bleaching/.
As a general rule, members of the public should exercise caution when purchasing cosmetic products online or from unfamiliar sources, even if they are recommended by well-meaning friends or relatives. You cannot be certain what these products contain, and where and how they were made. They could contain potent ingredients, or could be counterfeit or substandard.